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The veteran broadcaster, 77, is a renowned Republican and rarely praised the Royal Family. Previously, Humphrys was rejected by the Queen three times when he asked her an interview, clashed with Prince Philip and refused to appear on the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme with Prince Harry. The TV star, who is due to leave Mastermind after 18 years, took a swipe at Meghan in a lengthy attack about the future of the royals.
Humphrys argued that the Royal Family’s future may be jeopardised after Meghan and Harry’s decision to leave the Firm last year.
He felt that the Queen’s 69 years on the throne was an impressive commitment to the nation and was worthy of praise – but he questioned future generations.
Humphrys believed that Her Majesty’s popularity was at “stratospheric levels” and she was considered with “respect and affection”.
But he suggested that other royals may not be thought of in the same way.
Humphrys believed there could be an issue when Prince Charles ascends to the throne or if Prince William becomes King.
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He commented that William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, had been “setting themselves up to keep the show on the road”.
But he also argued: “We simply don’t know what will happen.”
Humphrys believed the risk to the future of the monarchy stemmed from the Royal Family itself.
He pointed to Meghan and Harry and their decision to leave roles within the Firm as an example of this.
Humphrys asked: “What is the point of the Royal Family if there is no hand-shaking?
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“Or if there are some members who announce they don’t want to be bothered doing it any more and slope off to a life easier on the hands.”
Humphrys then made a reference to Prince Andrew, who he described as being “kept so much in the shadows” that he was not photographed “at his own daughter’s wedding”.
He continued to question “how much of a Royal Family” was “actually needed” beyond the monarch.
Humphrys praised Princess Anne for being “adamant from the outset” that her children should “not join the Firm”.
He argued that Harry might have “felt a certain envy of the freedom enjoyed” by those relatives.
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However, Humphrys also added that Harry was not always against undertaking royal duties.
In a YouGov article last year, the journalist said: “He also appeared rather to enjoy the hand-shaking.”
Humphrys then moved onto Meghan, who he said “at least initially” was “supposed” to join Harry on royal duties.
He continued: “It was supposed that in marrying him and joining the Royal Family, Meghan Markle fancied a bit of hand-shaking too.
“Why else would she join since that is what they ‘do’? Maybe she was misinformed.”
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Humphrys then took a more barbed tone when he alleged that she never wanted to carry out royal duties.
He wrote: “It would now appear that she thought she could become a Duchess and a HRH without having to put on the white gloves.”
Humphrys then suggested another perspective that was “less Britain-centric”, by arguing that Harry could be marrying out of the Royal Family instead.
He continued: “[Maybe] we’ve got all this the wrong way round?
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“It wasn’t so much that Meghan married into the Royal Family as that Harry married into the family of Hollywood celebrity.”
Humphrys stated that there was “not so much hand-shaking required over there” and that he could “join the family and spend more time lounging by the pool”.
The journalist believed that the future of the Royal Family should be decided by the public.
He felt that Meghan and Harry’s departure from senior roles raised the question about how many “royal hand-shakers” were needed.
Humphrys wrote: “It’s that the Royal Family – indeed the monarchy itself – exists only because enough of us want it to.”